5 Meeting Disruptors CIOs Must Recognize and Confront

Joel Dobbs of Enterprise CIO Forum talks about the five types of people who can become a nuisance at your important meeting. Like an anthropologist, he identifies the telltale habits of each disruptor. Now you, the CIO, can identify and prevent these actions from being taken at your weekly or morning meetings.

Five Fiends

  1. Hijacker
  2. Distractor
  3. Dive-Bomber
  4. Pontificator
  5. “Gotcha Googler”

The Hijacker is the guy or gal who jumps in front of a meeting agenda with some alternate concern that they perceive is an emergency. Dobbs advises the CIO or meeting leader to stop this individual from taking down the whole meeting with their single-minded sense of urgency.

A Distractor is someone who picks out a controversial word or phrase and uses it to radically redirect the discussion. For instance, You: Today I want to talk about our dealings with company X. Distractor: Just heard about company X in the news, political scandal, yada, yada. The Dive-Bomber, according to Dobbs, is the single greatest threat to a successful meeting. That is because the Dive-Bomber outranks you. They are the project sponsor or high level manager who descends unexpectedly to completely shut down the momentum you’ve been building. It’s not often their intention to do this. If only they’d attend more frequently.

A Pontificator disrupts by way of elaboration. They will give you an academic thesis–dissecting, analyzing, debating, and hypothesizing a simple question or point raised during the discussion. Yes or no, please, and that will be fine.

The Gotcha Googler is a recent addition to Dobb’s list of disruptors. He or she is the technology fiend who happens to be Googling (they are always Googling) the very term or topic being raised in the discussion. Inevitably, they will source a “better” answer from the web that has little to do with correctness and more to do with their own ego.    

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